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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on But wait, there's More »

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    Welcome! This is the home of

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    I'd like to thank the Academy....

    Guess what? The Daily Giz Wiz won as "Best Comedy Podcast" at Saturday Night's Podcast Awards Event.

    It wouldn't have happened without the driving force of Leo Laporte and the amazing TWiT Network. And it certainly wouldn't have happened without our devoted fans caring enough to vote for us!

    I LOVE doing the Daily Giz Wiz, and winning this Podcast Award was a great surprise. When I heard people could vote everyday I figured the Daily Giz Wiz was dead. We couldn't ask our fans to vote daily. But evidently a lot of you did. So thank you ALL. Whether you voted once, or many times. Or even if you hacked the system and voted 10,000 times! A great big THANK YOU! It's just great!

    Dick De / The Giz Wiz

    All the winners are (or will shortly be) posted here:  

    And here's the program. The "Best Comedy Podcast" Award is the second category, about 7 minutes in.


    It’s been almost 3 weeks since Leo got a new cell phone, so it’s time for another new one!

    Turn The Table Tuesday, Tuesday, December 15th, 2009, Netcast 982

    This photo is from our friends at CNET.COMThis time Leo bought himself the brand new Nokia N900. He bought it unlocked on Amazon for about $600. (Unlocked phones aren’t wedded to any one phone service, but then again you don’t get the big discount you get when you sign your life away for two years with a major cell phone carrier.) Leo said that Nokia needed a big winner to stay competitive, much like Motorola did when they introduced the Droid recently. (Which Leo also bought.) Leo’s first impression is that that the N900 will be an excellent addition to his phone collection because it’s sort of an internet tablet capable of multi-tasking. It’s a little on the large size, a touch bigger than a pack of playing cards. It has an impressive high-resolution screen and a slide down keyboard. Since I don’t have one of these phones, and have not every even played with one I found some other specs on the web. It’s features an ARM processor, OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics accelerator, a 1GB of applications memory and run on the Maemo 5 operating system. You can create your own design for the opening screen with pretty much everything on the display customizable. And you’re not limited to just one screen, but four which can flick back and forth. The phone offers full flash support the phone offers. Web browsing on the N900 is powered by Mozilla, which Leo said worked fine. He had just gotten the phone when we recorded this show so he had used the 5-megapixel camera. Actually this phone has two cameras. You can shoot photos with one, and use the other camera for Skype. (But not at the same time.) The slide out keyboard is a bit different because it only has three rows of keys. Leo plans on returning to this camera on a show in the future once he’s had some time to use it. By knowing Leo if he doesn’t do it the next month or so, he’ll buy another new phone first!

    Hear this Netcast: 


    Let there by light! And a dimmer!

    Daily Giz Wiz, Week of December 14th, 2009.

    Monday, December 14th, 2009 Netcast 981 

    So the holiday tree looks great with all the lights, ornaments and tinsel. There’s only one problem. When it’s time to turn on the lights, or even turn off the lights, usually someone has to get down on the floor to plug it in, or to take out the plug. Here’s something that’s a whole lot easier. The Westek Ornament Touch Dimmer. It’s from the folks at Here’s how it works: You plug the Touch Ornament Dimmer into the wall, and the Holiday tree into the dimmer. Then you hang the included tree ornament on a branch that’s easy to reach. That’s a thin wire that you connect between the dimmer and the ornament. Now the ornament controls the tree lights! Touch it once for on – then each of the next three touches gives you 3 levels of brightness. The fourth touch turns the tree off again. It’s easy to install and no electrical experience necessary. CableOrganizer also carries similar touch units for dimming lamps. $19.95

    More info:

    Hear this Netcast:

    Also on this show we introduced Giz Wiz Gear from ColorSpot Printing. (And yes, the Giz Wiz gets a share!)



    Make Any Girl Do Anything You Mentally Command – With Your Mind Alone!

    Back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse Friday, December 11th, 2009, Netcast 980

    Yes, that was the (unbelievably sexist) headline in an ad from 1980! Here's a bit of the ad :

    Some of the wonderful copy if you can't read it above: Miraculously watch even someone you have just met do exactly what you silently command her to do. Willingly…cheerfully…quickly! (Notice there’s no mention of a woman commanding a man’s mind!!)  Very shortly you are going to demonstrate that fact with any girl you want. On this exciting occasion you are going to project a thought command to that girl. Not one word will be unuttered by you – yet that beauty is going to follow your silent command to the letter without ever knowing that you gave the order.  (More hype, then:): Your next test is even more unbelievable! You’ll command not just one, but four or five gorgeous creatures. This time you’ll project a thought command to this entire luscious group!  

    So you send your ten bucks for the SUCCESP manual. By the way, SUCCESP stands for The Science of Extra-Sensory Persuasion -- which turns out to be a small, 34-page booklet with about 4 sentences on each page. Your booklet starts out on a positive note: If you could employ Succesp with 100% effectiveness, it would make you the master of everyone. You could sell anything to anybody. You could make anyone love you. The toughest, meanest “egg” would be soft putting in your hands. Unlike the hypnotist, you would place no one in a trance. You would act and talk as you do now. Yet you would possess a power of persuasion that is truly awesome in scope.

    Then things take a turn toward the less-positive:

    Far be from us to suggest that you will ever achieve this level of total efficiency. It is not that you cannot achieve such a level, it’s merely unlikely. While the achievement of the maximum might be your ultimate goal- your “reach for the stars” ambition – your failure to attain it will be far from disastrous. Even a 1% level might be all you would ever require to sway the odds of success in your favor. Let’s assume you reach a 5% efficiency rate. This means for every 20 times you attempt SUCCESP, you will be successful just one time. This “once” might be on your very first try…or on your 20th.  Even this gives you a definite edge not in your possession at this time!

    And what is the secret? You have to think of yourself a human broadcasting station, transmitting your mentally powered signals into the air. Once you master that, you add sending pictures through the air. (It’s almost like TWiT!) And don’t forgot; this ad appeared about 30 years ago. $10 back then is probably about $25 today. Of course, now instead of ads like this, we have emails telling you won millions of dollars – provided you give them all your bank info. So scams continue, but in a more tech savvy way.

    Hear this Netcast:

    The ad is here:


    Safe at home; or at least safer!

    Thursday, December 10th, 2009, Netcast 979

    Hospitals use UV light to kill germs. You can do the same at home. Verilux says that required laboratory tests show that their CleanWave UV-C Wand eliminates up to 99.9% of viruses (including H1N1), bacteria, molds, dust mite and flea eggs from beds, upholstered furniture and other household surfaces. Hypoallergenic sanitizing eliminates germs from surfaces that don’t tolerate chemicals such as mattresses, upholstery and electronics. Each surface requires different amounts of time to kill germs via the UV-C light. This wand has a built-in LED count up timer. The time required is printed on a hangtag and in the instruction booklet. A computer keyboard might require just 8 seconds, while a standard bed could take six minutes. As you turn on this wand by holding the on button down for a few seconds, the LED timer also starts. Since it's harmful to look into UV-C light, the unit has an sensing switch that turns the light off if you turn it to face up towards yourself. And because it’s rechargeable, the wand is cordless. Once you charge The CleanWave Wand via the included AC cord, it’s easy to use anywhere around the house. The suggested retail prices is $89.99, but when I wrote this on November 22nd, it was on sale at the company website for $69.99. You can also do a web search on a shopping site like Amazon to see if there's even a lower price. There are many versions of this wand, including a travel version, but only this model - VH01WW4 - is said to have passed the new tests to show it does eliminate H1N1 virus on surfaces.

    Hear this Netcast: